What is an adaptogen?

An adaptogen is a type of healing herb that is used to help bring the body back to homeostasis.  Many adaptogenic herbs are grown in extreme climates that they manage to adapt to, hence their name.  It is believed that because of this characteristic, adaptogens help our bodies find balance when ingested. As Amanda Chantal, founder of Moon Juice, explains “Adaptogens specifically support your adrenals (the glands that manage your hormonal response) to stress and help you cope with anxiety and fatigue.”  When we are stressed, a lot of our body systems are thrown out of whack, so these special herbs can help balance them out. For example, if you are feeling very high strung, a certain adaptogenic herb may make you feel more relaxed, whereas someone who is very low energy may take the same exact adaptogen to gain energy.  Adaptogens do not work specifically for one thing, instead they adapt to what your body needs at the moment.  They are also not something that you need to take every single day for the rest of your life.  In fact, it is recommended that you take little breaks to better assist the herb in working in your system.  So as an example, take your chosen adaptogenic herb 6 days a week and have a day off. Or take it for a few months in a row and then take a whole month off.  Just know that they do require a bit of time, so if you don’t get results right away that doesn’t mean its not working.

All adaptogens are non-toxic and most are from mushrooms, leaves, berries, barks, and roots. The are usually taken in pill, powder, and/or tincture form.   It is important to make sure that when purchasing adaptogens, you get them from where they are naturally, organically and sustainably grown. And for anyone who may think adaptogens are “woo-woo,” just remember that all of our modern day medicine was originally based off the healing powers of plants! I have many adaptogens in pure powder and tincture form that I love to add to teas, smoothies, and even my coffee on occasion.  I have also found many tasty beverages that contain some of my favorite adaptogens.  Here are my top 5 that I love the most and just a few of the many benefits that the containing adaptogens are known for:

1. Four Sigmatic Chai Latte Mushroom Mix with Turkey Tail and Reishi- turkey tail mushrooms have many health benefits, including strengthening the immune system, reducing inflammation, aiding in digestion.  Studies also show that they many have some cancer-fighting benefits as well.   

2. REBBL Reishi Cold Brew- boosts your immune system, fights fatigue and restores the body’s natural energy.  Known as the “Divine Mushroom of Immortality”.

3. Moon Juice Brain Dust- made with a blend of adaptogens that help enhance focus and mental stamina and also help to promote mental clarity and concentration.

4. Health Ade Maca Berry Kombucha– made with aronia berries, a North American super berry that is said to have cancer fighting properties.  Also contains maca root which is said to be a favorite of elite athletes and anyone motivated to push their bodies to the limit of their potential.

5. SUJA Fermented Botanicals with Holy Basil-  holy basil is used to treat anxiety and adrenal fatigue.  It is also known to help with stress, boosts immunity, and can help clear up congestion and respiratory symptoms.